02 January 2020
Bhubaneswar: In a bid to combat crime against women the Commissionerate of Police today launched an initiative 'Women Empowerment for Gender-Sensitive Policing' (WE-GSP) with the appointment of Women Special Police Officers (SPOs).
In total, 246 women were inducted as SPOs from 30 organisations including colleges, IT companies and call centres. The SPOs have been conferred with the power of a police officer for three months. The tenure of the women SPOs will be extended on need basis. Police Commissioner Sudhanshu Sarangi handed over appointment letters and uniform to the SPOs at a function held here today.
Speaking on the occasion, Director General of Police (DGP) Abhay said, that today the problems that women face are multifarious from violence to harassment to eve-teasing to exploitation at workplace. He said that the priority of Odisha police is to make women feel safer.
“We had sent teams to different States to study their strategies to combat crime against women. While violent crimes against women will be the top priority, we will be laying special focus on non-violent crimes such as day to day harassment.”
The DGP said that any form of act which makes women feel uncomfortable, restricts their opportunity for growth or adversely impacts their confidence will be taken seriously. “The appointment of SPOs is one of our initiatives to make women feel safer. We will be having a series of such initiatives in near future,” Abhay added.
Addressing the event, Sarangi said, it was observed that many problems which working women and female students face at workplaces and colleges do not come to the notice of the police. Fear and humiliation are the two major reasons why young women hesitate to report such crimes, which they consider to be petty and better to ignore.
"We want women of our city to realise that if they feel shy to report such crimes, the perpetrators are emboldened to repeat the acts. Later the criminals are encouraged to commit serious offences against women. Therefore it is very important to nip such crimes in the bud," Sarangi said.
The newly appointed SPOs will act as eyes and ears of regular police on the sphere of crime against women. Senior police officials will regularly interact with the SPOs and extend all form of support to them. In course of time the SPOs will be made more familiar with different aspects of the law and groomed to serve efficiently, he added.